Monday, May 25, 2015

Hybridizing Moraea Species: 2015 Status

The list below shows Moraea species crosses I've attempted as of spring 2015. As you'll see, I have focused mostly on the very colorful "peacock" Moraea species and their relatives (technically, subgenus Vieusseuxia). There are more than 40 species in the subgenus, but I've been able to obtain and grow only about 15 of them so far (if you know how to get the others, please let me know).

I have also experimented with crossing a few other flowers in other parts of the genus.

Let's start with a summary chart of the Vieusseuxia crosses:


Here's what I think I've learned so far: Most of the Vieusseuxia species that I've tested are willing to cross with each other. The big exception is M. lurida, which appears to be pretty reluctant to cross with anything else. It may be willing to cross with M. bellendenii.

My most surprising result, which isn't shown in the chart, is that I've been able to cross a species in subgenus Homeria with Moraea villosa (you'll find a link to that cross in the list below). I didn't expect the cross to work, and it opens up a number of other interesting possibilities.


More details on the crosses. The list below shows every cross that produced seed. In the notes, "not viable" means the seeds looked at least marginally good enough to plant, but the seeds either did not sprout, or the seedlings died.

Homeria sp. (probably M. flaccida) X
     villosa. 1 bloomed: MM 11-91.

Moraea aristata X
     atropunctata. 2 crosses, have not yet bloomed.
     bellendenii. 1 cross, seed not viable.
     calcicola. 1 cross, successful: MM 03-04.
     gigandra. 2 crosses. 1 not viable, 1 bloomed: MM 11-28.
     longiaristata (?). 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     loubseri. 1 cross, bloomed: MM 09-01.
     lurida. 1 cross, not viable.
     neopavonia. 4 crosses, 2 not viable, 2 not yet bloomed.
     tripetala. 1 cross, not viable.
     tulbaghensis. 3 crosses, all viable. 1 has bloomed: MM 10-37.
     villosa. 9 crosses, 8 viable. 3 have bloomed: MM 09-02, MM 10-39, MM 11-19.

Moraea atropunctata X
     aristata. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     bellendenii. 1 cross, seed not viable.
     calcicola. 1 cross, bloomed: MM 03-98.
     gigandra. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     loubseri. 1 cross, seed not viable.
     neopavonia (?). 1 cross, bloomed: MM 99-00.
     tripetala. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     tulbaghensis. 1 cross, seed not viable.
     villosa. 2 crosses. 1 not viable, 1 has not yet bloomed.

Moraea bellendenii X
     aristata. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     longiaristata (?). 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     loubseri. 1 cross, seed not viable.
     lurida. 2 crosses. 1 not viable, 1 has not yet bloomed.
     neopavonia. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     tripetala. 1 cross, seed not viable.
     villosa. 2 crosses, have not yet bloomed.

Moraea calcicola X
     neopavonia. 1 cross, waiting for germination.

Moraea collina (yellow) X
     elegans. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.

Moraea elegans X
     flaccida (orange and yellow form). 1 cross, seed not viable.
     collina (yellow). 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.

Moraea fergusoniae. I tried for a couple of years to cross this species with the Vieusseuxia Moraeas, but had zero success.

Moraea flaccida X
     polystachya. 1 cross, turned out to be self-pollinated M. flaccida.
     elegans. 1 cross, turned out to be M. flaccida.

Moraea gigandra X
     aristata. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     atropunctata. 3 crosses, 2 viable, have not yet bloomed.
     bellendenii. 3 crosses. 2 not viable, 1 has not yet bloomed.
     calcicola. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     collina (?). 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     loubseri. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     lurida. 1 cross, did not set seed.
     neopavonia. 2 crosses, have not yet bloomed.
     tripetala. 1 cross, not viable.
     tulbaghensis. 3 crosses, all viable. 1 bloomed: MM 10-04.
     villosa. 9 crosses, 8 viable. 1 has bloomed: MM 11-17.

Moraea longiaristata (?) X
     aristata. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     calcicola. 1 cross, not viable.
     neopavonia. 2 crosses, have not yet bloomed.
     villosa. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.

Moraea loubseri X
     atropunctata. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     gigandra, 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     neopavonia. 2 crosses, have not yet bloomed.
     tripetala. 1 cross, not viable.
     tulbaghensis. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     villosa. 3 crosses, 1 viable, has not yet bloomed.

Moraea lurida X
     fergusoniae. 1 cross, not viable.
     neopavonia. 2 crosses, 1 not viable. 1 has not yet bloomed (high risk of self-pollination).
     tripetala. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed (high risk of self-pollination).
     tulbaghensis. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed. High risk of self-pollination.
     villosa. 2 crosses, have not yet bloomed. High risk of self-pollination.
Note: In my area, M. lurida is aggressively pollinated by flies. In my early crosses I didn't realize this, and did not protect the flowers from self-pollination or cross-pollination from other M. lurida. I have since tried to re-create the same crosses while protecting the plants from flies, and there has been almost zero seed set. So I suspect the earlier crosses, but I will not know for sure until they bloom.

Moraea neopavonia X
     aristata. 2 crosses, have not yet bloomed.
     atropunctata. 3 crosses, have not yet bloomed.
     calcicola. 2 crosses, have not yet bloomed.
     gigandra. 3 crosses, have not yet bloomed.
     loubseri. 3 crosses, 1 not viable, 2 have not yet bloomed.
     tripetala. 2 crosses, 1 not viable, 1 has not yet bloomed.
     tulbaghensis. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     villosa. 6 crosses, all viable, 1 has bloomed: MM 03-99.

Moraea polystachya X
     aristata. 1 cross, not viable.
     atropunctata. 1 cross, not viable.
I've made many other attempts to cross M. polystachya with the Peacocks, but didn't bother to write them down after it became clear that they were all failures. I still try occasionally,  because it would be great to get peacock colors on this very vigorous plant. Alas, I think it's not to be.

Moraea speciosa X
     polystachya. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.

Moraea thomasiae. I just got this species to bloom, and tried my first pollination experiments with it. It's too early to say anything about the results.

Moraea tricolor X
     macronyx. 2 crosses. 1 not viable, 1 bloomed: MM 12-143.

Moraea tripetala X
     aristata. 3 crosses, have not yet bloomed.
     bellendenii. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     calcicola. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     gigandra. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     loubseri. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     neopavonia. 2 crosses, neither has yet bloomed.
     tulbaghensis. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.
     villosa. 4 crosses, none have bloomed yet.

Moraea tulbaghensis X
     atropunctata. 2 crosses, not yet bloomed.
     longiaristata (?). 1 cross, not viable.
     loubseri. 2 crosses, not viable.
     tripetala. 1 cross, not viable.
     villosa. 9 crosses. 2 not viable, 6 not yet bloomed, 1 bloomed: MM 11-72.

Moraea vegeta X
     macronyx. 1 cross, has not yet bloomed.

Moraea villosa X
     aristata. 3 crosses. 1 not viable, 1 not yet bloomed, 1 bloomed: MM 11-31.
     atropunctata. 4 crosses. 1 not viable, 3 not yet bloomed
     bellendenii. Two crosses, not yet bloomed
     calcicola. 3 crosses. 1 not viable, 2 not yet bloomed
     gigandra. 6 crosses. 3 not viable, 2 not yet bloomed, 1 bloomed: MM 11-24.
     homeria sp. 3 crosses, not yet bloomed
     longiaristata (?). 1 cross, not yet bloomed
     loubseri. 4 crosses. 2 not viable, 2 not yet bloomed
     lurida. 1 cross, not viable
     neopavonia. 5 crosses. 4 not viable, 1 not yet bloomed
     tripetala. 5 crosses. 3 not viable, 2 not yet bloomed
     tulbaghensis. 17 crosses. 2 not viable, 13 not yet bloomed, 2 bloomed: MM 11-140, MM 10-02.
Note: In case you're wondering why I made so many crosses with M. villosa, it's because there are so many color forms of that species.

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